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Gota: Day and Night

Gota Yashiki is fast making a name for himself in acid/smooth jazz as a leader after years of producing and session work. (He produced CDs by Simply Red and Seal and provided all the instrumentation for Sinead O’Connor’s smash hit “Nothing Compares to You.”) Instinct’s most popular artist has returned with another winner in Day & Night, which, as the title hints at, often alternates from fast (day) to slow (night).

The charming “Cruisin’ Your Way” is the perfect song to lead with, its optimistic spirit reflected by buoyant piano and sax melodies. So is “Around the Corner,” where, as in many of Gota’s tunes, the flute leads the way. Day then becomes night with “All Together Now,” with a tastefully programmed synth leading into warm acoustic piano, guitar clusters and sultry saxophone lines. The CD’s light-to-dark concept continues with such contrasting tunes as the playful, boogieing “Chase in the Urban Jungle” and the bittersweet “Sweet Memories,” with its pensive guitar wails.

There is much variety on Day & Night. Sometimes CDs start sounding the same-then there’s Gota’s. He brings freshness to smooth jazz.

Originally Published